Day 34. Guilt can be ok. Shame is not.
Currently I’m ashamed that I’ve eaten like 17 of the peanut butter brownies that I made. To be fair, my lady parts demanded it and you can’t argue with lady parts. You just can’t.
I’m ashamed that I waste my energy on people who just aren’t worth it. If they are miserable, ugly people, it doesn’t mean I have to be. I wish that the knowledge of someone being miserable and ugly inside and out was enough for me to stop reacting. My reactions are still just as incensed as before. True, it takes a bit longer for me to get to a boiling point. And the realization of, “Oh, damnit. I shouldn’t have reacted that way,” happens a bit sooner. But for the most part, I’m just being my emotional (reactionary) self.
But I’m not ashamed that I’m a passionate person. I’m not ashamed that I’ve been working on things. I’m not ashamed that I continue to dream as if I’m not an adult. I’m not ashamed that I don’t need substances to fuel my idea of a good time. I’m not ashamed of the peaceful feeling I get sometimes when I’m out walking by myself; I’ll look at just the right moment and suddenly the city seems beautiful, as if it’s a memory I could keep forever but that I know will quickly fade.
While writing this, I’m remembering a summer that I went to a lakehouse. Four people, myself included, sat around this fire all night, drinking and talking about whatever. I don’t remember exactly what the conversation was; I’m fairly certain we were all drunk or tipsy. Sometime before daybreak, someone got the idea that we should burn glass, because a white flame was the hottest flame. So we put a bottle in the fire. And I remember thinking so desperately that I needed to see the white flame so that putting the glass in the fire had a purpose – so that I could share in a moment that wasn’t often seen by others.
We did end up seeing it, a tiny flicker. In the process we also scorched the yard a bit, and maybe melted some lawn furniture. I guess my point is that in our quest to be accidental arsonists, I kept waiting for something to happen when a million other things were already happening – and I didn’t even notice. Being covered in the feeling of shame is a preventative measure. It’s uncomfortable and yet familiar, allows for the down spiral but not the progress. It stops you where you are, and doesn’t forgive you for who you are, or who you want to be.
And if there’s one thing I don’t need, it’s being impeded by a concept that’s designed to bring one down.